Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
I love words. They are a window into our thinking and to how we see ourselves in relation to the world.
If two people look out of the same window they will notice different things. One might spot the clouds and say ‘aha, miserable weather on the way.’ The other may see the sun peeking through and say ‘hoho the sun is coming, let’s go for a walk!’
Two people with the same window and two different mindsets.
We all have our own views and that’s okay. Sometimes though, they can become extreme and can get in the way of us making progress with an issue.
Have you ever met someone who likes to exaggerate, or catastrophize?
The world is against them and nobody understands them. Everyone is criticising them. There’s nothing they can do about that. They’re the only person who feels this way and it’s impossible to make any changes at all.
This kind of ‘talking in extremes’ is known as grandiosity.
Their world is distorted into all or nothing. There’s no mid-point and their words are very binary.
Grandiosity is always worth challenging, in a gentle way. Such as…
‘Really? Every single person is against you?’
‘Well, not everyone.’
‘Then who are these people? Be specific. How many people exactly?’
‘And does that mean a few people agree with you?’
‘Maybe. Haven’t thought about it like that before. When you put it like that, I suppose not everyone is against me.’
…And so on.
I tend to think that people who talk in grandiose terms are all about me-me-me in as much as they put themselves in a high place, with the rest of us struggling to engage with them.
Binary, or exaggerated, thinking doesn’t allow people to explore new options and they can stay trapped by their views on the world around them.
The next time one of our colleagues talks in grandiose terms we can listen carefully, spotting key words, as evidence, and then ask questions to invite a sensible reality check. Then we can explore options with them and encourage them to act in new ways.
Words are windows. We can all increase our awareness of what others are really saying to us and we can find gentle ways to challenge people.
This week we can all have fun spotting grandiosity.
Next week: Who Is Your Friend?
Click icon for details
Click cover to view details on Amazon
Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age
Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish
An insider's guide to working for yourself
Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish